Your customer database is one of your most precious possessions. Engaging with your existing and potential customers should never be undervalued.
On the contrary, it should take priority in your company strategy. By keeping in touch with your existing customers and offering them services, you can maintain a trusting and secure relationship that will lead to customer loyalty.
But having an excellent and detailed customer database is only the start of the story. One of the best ways to keep meaningful contact with existing customers and draw in new ones is to offer giveaways and customer gifts.
First, let’s settle on how to know if you have a good track record with repeat customers:
How to measure repeat customers
To measure repeat customers (which will show you if you need to improve your customer loyalty strategy), you have to calculate your repeat purchase rate. For this, you’ll need to:
Count your total number of customers.
Count your total number of customers who have used your services at least twice.
Divide the number of repeat customers by the total number of customers.
Multiply by 100 to get a percentage rate.
Every industry and geographical area have their own average purchase rate so don’t beat yourself up if the number is too low. In this case, it’s time to take a look at how a giveaway strategy can make a difference and increase customer loyalty for your electrical company, plumbing and heating business, HVAC or anything in between.
Why should I have a giveaway strategy?
Marketing is about gaining permission to talk to people, engaging with them, and encouraging them to buy your services. If customers or prospects don’t want to talk to you, they won’t. It’s people’s relationship with your brand that sways people in the direction of sales.
What better way to build that relationship and improve the field service customer experience than to offer something for free?
Whether it’s a gift, a voucher, or some valuable content, people enjoy the experience of getting something for nothing. Which means it increases customer loyalty.
A giveaway or customer gift will appeal to customers’ sense of a “bargain” and reinforce the impression that you’re a giving and generous business. In other words, the type of company that they want to provide them with services.
What gift or giveaway should I offer my customers?
The key is to make sure that what you have on offer will entice the type of customers you want. Here are 10 ways to ensure that your giveaway strategy attracts the right customers:
A strategy that appeals to your customers’ sense of “something extra” will always be a winner.
Discounts are great, but if you don’t want to offer one since it will eat into your bottom line, how about offering a small extra service for free instead? For example, while you’re servicing an alarm system, you could also offer to perform a quick energy efficiency survey to boost customer loyalty.
2. Listen to your customers and personalize their gifts.
With the competition high and your rivals also offering giveaways and gifts, it pays to find gift options that really appeal to your specific customer demographic.
Customer surveys are a great way to find out what customers really want. Also be sure to listen to your field service technicians, as they’re your face-to-face contact with your client base. Other ways to provide personalization might be to give away promotional products that are printed with the customer’s name or to offer a choice of gifts.
3. Make a thank-you video.
The use of video for inbound marketing is on the rise and is no longer just for big businesses with huge marketing budgets. There are some great video tools out there that are simple to use and include options like animation.
Social media has made sharing short, snappy videos easy. Once customers see your thank-you video, they’ll share it and spread the word about how great your services are. Especially if you tried our Facebook marketing strategy for plumbing and heating and other field service businesses.
Your thank-you video doesn’t have to be complicated. In general, people appreciate simplicity and a short, kind message.
4. Start a loyalty program or VIP club.
There’s a good reason so many big businesses run loyalty programs. They’re one of the best ways to grow your customer base. Not only that, but loyalty programs also give you access to customer information and preferences that you would not have had otherwise.
They don’t need to be expensive or complicated to set up either! There are a lot of packages out there that will do the job for you. In fact, you can even find loyalty program apps just for smaller businesses.
For your most loyal customers, it makes sense to create a VIP program with long-term relationship rewards. Airlines do this particularly well. When researching what a good program looks like, look beyond the immediate competition. You never know where inspiration might come from!
5. Turn your customer’s experience into a video.
We all like to talk about ourselves. Giving a customer the opportunity to talk about their experience with your company can be very rewarding for both parties. Testimonials and case studies not only reward existing customers. They also attract new ones.
DemoDuck has a great article for testimonial-givers about how to prepare to be on camera. Send it to customers who agree to do a video and they’ll thank you for it!
6. Send a treat.
There are few people who don’t like getting a treat. And in the world of customer giveaways and gifts, a treat – in other words, a small gift, especially an unexpected one – could just be the thing that keeps your customers loyal when they’re considering other options.
Treats could take many forms, from flowers to gift cards, and can be timed to either reward great customer behaviour (like reviews & referrals) or to celebrate significant dates (such as birthdays or anniversaries with the company).
Gift cards aren’t just for local restaurants and cafés, Amazon, or big-box stores. You’ll find that even “practical” businesses like gas stations and supermarkets successfully offer gift cards. They also often use them as giveaways. Gift cards are a great option for giveaways even for field service businesses like yours.
They offer the customer flexibility, meaning they can choose whichever of your services they need most. If you want to create time-pressure, you can add a “use-by” date to your gift card.
8. Offer a discount.
Getting a bargain is a very satisfying experience and customers are attracted by a discount. Particularly if your competitors are not offering a similar one.
Use discounts carefully, though, because overuse can lessen their impact. At the end of the day, you don’t want to make it a fight to the bottom by competing over who has the lowest price.
9. Teach your customers something new.
Teaching your customers something new and important, like safety advice or energy-saving measures, helps build customers’ confidence in your expertise. Try offering free content through blog posts, how-to videos, or even a free eBook.
Many field service companies have found online success by producing simple “how-to” videos that teach customers valuable skills and saves them a trip which proves to be about nothing more than switching a button.
10. Give away promotional items.
Sending out company-branded goodies to customers is a good way to keep in touch, particularly if you have long gaps between services. Magnets, coasters, seat cushions for sporting events, stress balls, and mugs are always popular. Even better, they’re cheap! The more you buy, the less you pay per piece.
For example, on EverythingBranded you can buy 150 branded mugs for $3.31 each, or 550 for only $2.50 each.
Traditionally, field service businesses have been less interested in using giveaways and customer gifts than other types of businesses. This is good news because if you try them out, you won’t have much competition!
It may be a long time between work orders, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose touch with your customers. Try these giveaway ideas and watch your customer loyalty grow!
One of the best methods to increase loyalty is to keep in touch with them, via service reminders. This is why we’ve put together a free guide to help you send better reminders and earn more repeat customers. Click below to download and get started!
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